Very few people see batting practice anymore. Big league parks usually donâ€™t open their gates in time for the fans to witness this baseball ritual. The gates were open at McCoy Stadium on Friday afternoon but only a smattering of fans were in the stands when rehabbing Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford stepped into the cage and took swings with his temporary PawSox teammates.
RIVERSIDE â€“ Their pitchers might not have thrown as hard and their batters might not have had the same pop, but when it came to throwing strikes and make plays in the field, no one was better than Cumberland National.
Cumberland was spotless defensively and pitchers Sydney Provencal and Katerina Kent allowed only seven base runners the entire game as the offense took advantage of two errors in a 3-0 win over East Greenwich to claim the Rhode Island Major Division Softball Championship Friday night.
PAWTUCKET -- Brandon Duckworthâ€™s frustrating two-month stretch without a victory came to a merciful end on Thursday night.
The veteran Pawtucket Red Sox starting pitcher handcuffed the Durham Bulls to seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work and his teammates did all their offensive damage in the fourth inning to grab a 3-2 triumph at McCoy Stadium.
The victory was the fourth in a row and the eighth in the last 10 teams for the surging PawSox, who are now a season-high 10 games over .500 (51-41) and tied for the International League wild card lead with the Gwinnett Braves.
EAST GREENWICH --- Jamison Randall has already proven in his young career that heâ€™s a golfer with unlimited potential.
On Thursday afternoon at the R.I. Amateur Championship, he also proved he has the heart that goes with it.
Randall wasnâ€™t able to advance to todayâ€™s quarterfinal matches, but the recent Cumberland High grad gave two-time champion Brad Valois all he could handle during match play of the Round of 16 at the Potowomut Country Club.
PAWTUCKET -- Itâ€™s been nine years since Carl Crawford last played a game at McCoy Stadium, but the Boston Red Sox left fielder will be in Pawtucket tonight and tomorrow for a brief injury rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Crawford will start in left on both nights when the PawSox host the Durham Bulls, and if all goes well this weekend, he is expected to be back in the Red Soxâ€™s lineup on Monday when they head to Baltimore to face the Orioles.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Former Pawtucket Little League baseball star Mason Williams is off to a fast start with the Staten Island Yankees of the New York Penn League.
Williams, son of ex-Patriots wide receiver Derwin Williams, and a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Yankees last summer, is batting .363 for Staten Island after 102 ABs.
The 6-foot, 150-pound centerfielder boasts a .539 slugging percentage.
Williams, still only 19 years old, played for Darlington American Little League before his family moved to Florida seven years ago.
While most kids his age were down at the beach soaking up some rays the past two days, Jamison Randall was at Potowomut Country Club playing with some of the top amateur golfers in Rhode Island.
And, after a shaky opening start, the recent Cumberland High grad and individual state champion has manufactured a pair of solid rounds at the 106th annual R.I. Amateur Championship.
LINCOLN â€” On their way to posting undefeated records in pool play of the District IV Little League All Star Tournament, Cumberland American and Lincoln combined to outscore their opponents by an 87-12 margin.
After their respective semifinal games on Tuesday night at Hien Field, the two powerhouse teams kept their records unblemished.
But it wasn't quite that easy.
CRANSTON --- Two outs away from wrapping up a successful comeback in the losersâ€™ bracket and repeating as Big League state champs, Pineview saw a spirited comeback by Smithfield ruin its bid for championship glory.
Smithfield erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh inning and held off a late charge in the home half of the frame by Pineview to eke out a thrilling 7-6 victory that landed the visiting team its first Big League crown at Fay Field.